Costs mounting in CDD 4 at site of sinkholes where Villages homes still in limbo

Article Courtesy of The Villages News
By Meta Minton  
Published August 12, 2018


Costs are mounting in Community Development District 4 at the site of sinkholes where two homes remain in limbo.    

CDD 4 has already absorbed the sticker shock of a $560,000 tab for the first round of sinkhole expenses, but as time passes, costs continue to mount. CDD 4 supervisors have already approved a preliminary budget which includes a 20 percent hike in the maintenance assessment paid by residents.

Two homeowners have retained a lawyer and have not moved toward resolving the situation with their homes, which have been declared uninhabitable. District Counsel Valerie Fuchs has pushed the homeowners’ lawyer for an action plan at the homesites, but has not received one.

“There is a financial impact that this inaction is having,” said District Manager Richard Baier.

For instance, CDD 4 has a $20,000 bill coming due for Community Watch, which has been guarding the site.

CDD 4 can’t move forward with infrastructure repairs because nothing has been done at the site of the two uninhabitable homes on McLawren Terrace.

One of the two properties, Doris Morrill’s home, is reportedly on the market. Her situation has been complicated as she is a “tenant for life” in the house, as her late husband’s children were his heirs.

Sturdier barricades have been set up on McLawren Terrace at the site of two homes uninhabitable since sinkholes opened up in February. The previous barricades were being moved around by residents, hence the need for the sturdier barricades.

“I’m not sure who is in charge of the Morrill estate,” said Supervisor Don Deakin.

Should the house sell, the new owner would be responsible for stabilizing the property. However, the Marion County code case involving the Morrill house would be restarted and the 90-day clock would start all over again.

“District 4’s hands are tied,” said Deakin.